The minister stated this on Monday, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was working to address the brain drain in the country, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama, has bemoaned the exodus of medical doctors, nurses and other health professionals from the country, adding that it was one of the greatest challenges facing the Nigerian health sector.

The minister stated this on Monday, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was working to address the brain drain in the country, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

“The greatest challenge facing the sector presently is the doctors and nurses leaving the country, but I want to rather encourage them to stay back, seeing the effort the government is putting,” the minister said.

Ekumankama, who spoke with journalists while inaugurating projects at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta, Lagos, identified brain drain as the major health sector challenge.

“We can attest to it that the government in the last three years has released 100 per cent of the budget for the health sector,” Ekumankama stressed.

The projects inaugurated by the minister included the orthopaedic and trauma centre, molecular building complex and oxygen gas plant. Others are the clinical training centre, powerhouse and ultra-modern theatre.

The minister added, “As a sacrifice, I want to encourage them to stay back and help us revitalise the health sector, and we have witnessed that today with what is on the ground in this hospital.”

The minister commended Adedamola Dada, the hospital’s medical director, for judiciously using available resources to provide further infrastructures and services rendered to patients.

“If you don’t go around this hospital, you won’t know that they have such facilities, and this is because they have been able to utilise the available resources from the government judiciously. If people are aware of the infrastructures here and the quality hands, there won’t be a need to travel abroad for medical tourism,” he stated. “I scored them 100 per cent with what I have seen so far. And the reward for hard work is more hard work, so I expect more from them.”

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